Williams v. Utah Department of Corrections et al
MEMORANDUM DECISION and ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS CERTAIN DEFENDANTS: It is hereby Ordered that: Denying 37 Motion for copies; Denying 57 Motion for copies; Within twenty days, Defendants Gehr and Winget (Millard County D efendants) shall file with the Court a proposed order-based on their motion for summary judgment. The proposed order shall be prepared in Times New Romand font an otherwise comply with Court rules. Respondent shall file proposed order in the EM/ECF s ystem using the Notice of Filing event and submit the proposed order in word processing format to: email@example.com. See order for details. Denying 65 Motion to Appoint Counsel, The Clerk of Court shall take note that no further motions for appointed counsel will be accepted; Denying 68 Motion to Appoint Counsel; Granting 23 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. Signed by Judge Robert J. Shelby on 2/10/2016. (kpf)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF UTAH
GREGORY E. WILLIAMS,
CAPT. DEVON BLOOD et al.,
MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER
GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS
Case No. 2:13-CV-601-RJS
District Judge Robert J. Shelby
Plaintiff/inmate, Gregory E. Williams, filed a pro se civil rights complaint, see 42
U.S.C.S. § 1983 (2015), proceeding in forma pauperis, see 28 id. 1915. Defendants Glenn
Ercanbrack and Suzi Padgett move for their dismissal from this case.
1. Grounds for Dismissal
In evaluating the propriety of dismissing claims for failure to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, this Court takes all well-pleaded factual assertions as true and regards
them in a light most advantageous to the plaintiff. Ridge at Red Hawk L.L.C. v. Schneider, 493
F.3d 1174, 1177 (10th Cir. 2007). Dismissal is appropriate when, viewing those facts as true, the
plaintiff has not posed a "plausible" right to relief. See Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007); Robbins v. Oklahoma, 519 F.3d 1242, 1247-48 (10th Cir. 2008). "The burden
is on the plaintiff to frame a 'complaint with enough factual matter (taken as true) to suggest' that
he or she is entitled to relief." Robbins, 519 F.3d at 1247 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
When a civil rights complaint contains "bare assertions," involving "nothing more than a
'formulaic recitation of the elements' of a constitutional . . . claim," the Court considers those
assertions "conclusory and not entitled to" an assumption of truth. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct.
1937, 1951 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 554-55). In other words, "the mere
metaphysical possibility that some plaintiff could prove some set of facts in support of the
pleaded claims is insufficient; the complaint must give the court reason to believe this plaintiff
has a reasonable likelihood of mustering factual support for these claims." Red Hawk, 493 F.3d
at 1177 (italics in original).
This Court must construe pro se "'pleadings liberally,' applying a less stringent standard
than is applicable to pleadings filed by lawyers. Th[e] court, however, will not supply additional
factual allegations to round out a plaintiff's complaint or construct a legal theory on a plaintiff's
behalf." Whitney v. New Mexico, 113 F.3d 1170, 1173-74 (10th Cir. 1997) (citations omitted).
In the Tenth Circuit, this means that if this Court can reasonably read the pleadings "to state a
valid claim on which the plaintiff could prevail, it should do so despite the plaintiff's failure to
cite proper legal authority, his confusion of various legal theories, his poor syntax and sentence
construction, or his unfamiliarity with pleading requirements." Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106,
1110 (10th Cir. 1991). Still, it is not "the proper function of the district court to assume the role
of advocate for the pro se litigant." Id.; see also Peterson v. Shanks, 149 F.3d 1140, 1143 (10th
Cir. 1998) (citing Dunn v. White, 880 F.2d 1188, 1197 (10th Cir. 1989) (per curiam)).
2. Affirmative Link
The complaint must clearly state what each individual defendant did to violate Plaintiff's
civil rights. See Bennett v. Passic, 545 F.2d 1260, 1262-63 (10th Cir. 1976) (stating personal
participation of each named defendant is essential allegation in civil rights action). "To state a
claim, a complaint must 'make clear exactly who is alleged to have done what to whom.'" Stone
v. Albert, No. 08-2222, slip op. at 4 (10th Cir. July 20, 2009) (unpublished) (emphasis in
original) (quoting Robbins v. Oklahoma, 519 F.3d 1242, 1250 (10th Cir. 2008)). Plaintiff does
not identify behavior by Defendants Ercanbrack or Padgett that links them with a violation of his
constitutional rights. He does nothing more than state their names. Because Plaintiff has done
nothing to affirmatively link Defendants Ercanbrack and Padgett to his claims, Plaintiff's claims
against these defendants may not survive their motion to dismiss. These defendants are thus
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
(1) Defendants Ercanbrack and Padgett’s Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED. (See Docket
Entry # 23.)
(2) Plaintiff’s motions for copies are DENIED. (See Docket Entry #s 37 & 57.) This
request would place an undue burden on the Court’s resources without an accompanying sensible
(3) Within twenty days, Defendants Gehre and Winget (Millard County Defendants) shall
file with the Court a proposed order--with analysis and conclusions--based on their motion for
summary judgment. (See Docket Entry # 48.) The proposed order shall be prepared in Times
New Roman font and otherwise comply with Court rules. Respondent shall file the proposed
order in the EM/ECF system using the Notice of Filing event and submit the proposed order in
word processing format to: firstname.lastname@example.org .
(4) Plaintiff shall respond to the Proposed Order within twenty days of filing of the
(5) Plaintiff's third and fourth motions for appointed counsel, (see Docket Entry #s 65 &
68), are DENIED for the same reasons stated in a prior order in this case denying appointment of
voluntary pro bono counsel, (see Docket Entry # 13). The Clerk of Court shall take note that no
further motions for appointed counsel will be accepted by the Court.
day of February, 2016.
BY THE COURT:
ROBERT J. SHELBY
United States District Judge
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